Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MM Video: Royal Burma

Burma has an ancient royal history which has left behind many magnificent monuments across the country. The Konbaung dynasty, founded by King Alaungpaya in 1752, was the 3rd Burmese empire and throughout their reign Burma reached her peak of size and power. For about a century Burma dominated the region but in the 1800's a series of wars broke out with the British. The last native King of Burma was Thibaw Min who reigned from 1878 to 1885. After his defeat in the Third Anglo-Burmese War he was deposed by the British and shipped off to exile in India after which Burma became part of the British Empire of India. Mandalay was the last royal capital and is still regarded as the cultural heart of Burma with many breathtaking monuments, temples and a rebuilt palace complex.


  1. I have often said that the situation in Burma at the moment could may well have been avoided if Burma had remained a Commonwealth Realm or at least reinstated their monarchy. A Burmese king (or viceregal) who possesses the authority to command the Armed Forces, and to whom the Armed Forces owe their highest allegiance certainly could have seen the coup averted. I made that point once on a school report on Human Rights Issues in Burma, and this website makes some good points:


  2. Is there a claimant to the throne and a known royalist movement?

  3. I've always been a little sore at the British for deposing the last King of Burma rather than allowing the native monarchy to remain as a client. However, it should be seen as fairly obvious that they would have been better off with a British Governor-General than they have done with the current regime.

    As to any claimant -there is none and one should be on guard for anyone claiming to be as they are not legit. There was really no law for succession in Burma and the last King outlived his only sons so any restoration of the monarchy would have to be starting out anew.

  4. The konbaung dynasty had their greatness, but it also had a dark side. A common feature in almost every succession was a royal massacre; the severest taken place in 1879 during the succession of the last king. Fourteen brothers and four sisters, together with sixty-one other relatives, met their deaths over a four-day period in February 1879. Many of those who lost their lives were mere babes in arms, their heads bashed against the palace walls. Those not killed within the specified time were buried alive with the others in a large pit, then flattened to death by elephants. The Nyaungyan and Nyaungok princes and their families escaped to the British Residency and were smuggled out in a gunboat. (http://www.royalark.net/Burma/burma.htm)

  5. The Burmese Tragedy is truly a sorrow. However, the idea of a new House and new Reign is not so bad, except I doubt in our age of Democracy it'd be proposed. Though I could be pleasantly surprised.

  6. That is true about the Konbaung, though it should also be kept in mind that such was practically the 'standard procedure' at the time and, especially in light of no tradition of a legal order of succession, was often seen as a necessary evil to prevent constant civil wars.

    As for a restoration, it would not be completely unthinkable though the one method that would seem most likely would also be the most off-putting for most people which is that General Than Shwe assume the position of king himself. He has, over the years, taken on more of a regal style. How the world would react to that I don't know. As much as I would like to see the monarchy restored in any way for such a man to assume the throne I'm afraid would only lower the image of monarchy on the world stage.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...